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Prefeasibility report of GREF found construction of tunnel as viable

Kishtwar/ Jammu, March 7 (Scoop News) -In significant development, in his pre feasibility report prepare by the General Engineering Reserve Force (GREF), the construction of Tunnel between village Singhpora of Chatroo Kishtwar and Viloo of Anantnag District of Kashmir found as viable for construction of the tunnel.
As per the letter No: 40570/Sinthan/DGBR/62/Brs & Tnls written by Col K S Malladi Director Bridges & Tunnels in the office of Director General Border Roads (Bridge and Tunnels) and submitted to DG BRO, the organization gives approval in principal for consultancy services for preparing detail feasibility study and framing up of phase wise proposal (DPR) for construction of 10 KM (Two tubes of 5 KM each) Sinthan Pass Tunnel. The Prefeasibility report was prepared by the Col K S Malladi after DG BRO issued instruction to him in the month of May 2012. The pre feasibility report of the said tunnel was prepared keeping in view of the geological report, snow data of last five years and also the cost of the project which is estimated approximately around Rs. 650 Cr.
Pankaj Kumar Officiating Commandant 118 RCC GREF Kishtwar confirmed that the project of construction of Singhpora-Viloo tunnel is in advance stage and said that the prefeasibility report has already been submitted to the higher authorities. He said that the organization has already taken up the matter with defense ministry government of India for providing funds for preparation of final DPR of the said tunnel. He said that as soon as the organization will receive funds for preparation of DPR, the organization will invite the tenders for the same from reputed companies. He said that he was hopeful that all the formalities will be cleared by the end of November 2013. He said that by December 2013, the organization is all set to start the construction work on Singhpora-Viloo Tunnel. He said that the construction of this tunnel will not only provide alternative road connectivity to valley, but will also give job opportunities to the local unemployed youths of the Kishtwar District.

It is worthwhile to mention that in 2003 MLA Inderwal Ghulam Mohammad Saroori first time raises the issue on the floor of assembly regarding the construction of Chatroo Singhpora tunnel and Sinthan road. During his tenure as R & B ministry, Saroori expedite the paper work and has completed 23km of road from Chatroo to Singhpora, also from Vailoo side in 2010. Road was constructed from both end during his tenure as R&B minister within no span of time, beside two former Chief Ministers Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and Ghulam Nabi Azad moved ahead with the project as result of which the project was finally taken in hand by GREF in the year 2005, but the project was stopped in 2008 when militants killed five GREF personnel, including a Lieutenant Colonel Ajay Verma on June 13, 2008.
Singhpora-Viloo tunnel is among the 11 tunnels to be constructed in India on the initiative of GOI which includes construction of 12 KM long Srinagar-Kargil-Leh tunnel and 21 KM long Balipara-Charduar Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh. The GOI project for construction of these tunnels comes in wake of the fact that these regions of the country mostly remain cut off from the rest of world in winter due to heavy snowfall. The construction of the tunnel also provide alternative road connectivity to the valley which mostly remains cut off from rest of the country due to frequent blocking of Srinagar-Jammu National Highway. The tunnel also provides shorts road connectivity between Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir valley through Pangi-Padder-Sinthan-Srinagar route.
Need for constructing Singhpora-Vailoo tunnel which will link Kishtwar and Doda with the Kashmir Valley adding that this would provide an alternate route from Valley to Jammu, and Amarnath pilgrims, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab. A traveler has to cover 290 km to reach Kishtwar via the Srinagar-Jammu highway, and the Srinagar-Sinthan-Kishtwar road reduces the distance by 200 km. Earthwork and two-laning have been completed from Batote to Chatroo on the Kishtwar side and from Vailoo side half km.

People of District Kishtwar and Anatnag appreciate the efforts made by Former R&B Minister and MLA Inderwal G M Saroori and Minister for Haj & Auqaf Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed for this tunnel.
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